The rise and rise of the 60s

Time to get com­fort­able in our own skin.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - SENIOR - By MARY EU

IT’S fi­nally here – my 60th birth­day. I think my life has cli­maxed which means I am com­fort­able in my own skin. I can even joke about my fallen butt and bod­ily con­ti­nen­tal drift. Af­ter 50, this cas­ing called the body, seems to have a mind of its own.

At 60, I FEEL ridicu­lously young at heart ( else­where a bit older though). I am a sucker for com­pli­ments. That is why I al­ways say I’m 80 when some­one is cu­ri­ous about my age. Then they will say, “But you don’t look your age!” See what I mean? I live with the MOTH ( My Over Thrifty Hus­band) who puts his money where the mouth is. That is how I get the spin- off ef­fects. He cooks my favourite dishes. He is my food ge­nie.

I have three lovely daugh­ters aged 24, 30 and 32. The el­der two have flown the nest. I get to keep the youngest one at home so that I can smell her fore­head when­ever I want to. Yes, she al­lows me to do that – how lucky can a mother get?

The only ex­er­cise I do is house­work and of course, walk­ing in shop­ping malls. I re­ject any kind of ex­er­cise that re­quires me to go un­der the sun or spend money on ex­pen­sive ex­er­cise ma­chines. It has taken a lot of willpower but I have fi­nally kicked the urge to diet.

Ah, I have a few good friends who cheer the loud­est at my small­est achieve­ment. One of th­ese women show­ers me with happy emo­jis when­ever my ar­ti­cle makes it to print. An­other hails me like I made it to the Pulitzer Prize. Ego booster jabs like th­ese make me feel un­con­di­tion­ally loved.

Old friends grow dearer and fewer as the years ago by. Time­tested friends give so much emo­tional sup­port th­ese days that they are to be cher­ished and nur­tured.

I am at an age in which I can be eas­ily for­given when I goof. Whoa, I can flirt with young men and make no one jeal­ous or un­com­fort­able. Be­ing 60 gives me some lat­i­tude to be inane or au­da­cious.

Sixty is a ripe time for out­rage. I shall do one out­ra­geous thing each week. At my age, peo­ple ex­pect me to be sen­si­ble, down- to- earth and staid but I shall dis­il­lu­sion them. As with most things in life, a lit­tle hu­mour helps to soften the rough edges of life. I can at last dance to my own drum­beat.

I shall live life more coura­geously and raise my gen­eros­ity level one notch up. I shall not be afraid to go on an ad­ven­ture and try new things. Af­ter all, life is a se­ries of tak­ing risks and you grow stronger af­ter over­com­ing each ob­sta­cle.

Next, I will not weigh the words of neg­a­tive com­ments but with the breath of kind­ness, blow it all away. This is be­cause peo­ple usu­ally do not mean what they say, and mean what they do not say. So I will stop col­lect­ing griev­ances as though they are Dres­den china.

I will stop re­gret­ting my mis­spent youth while still mis­spending it. In­stead, I will em­brace ev­ery flaw, ev­ery weak­ness and ev­ery im­per­fec­tion that make up me. Those who love me, love both the good and bad part of yours truly. Those who don’t, won’t make a dif­fer­ence any­way.

I have spent more than 40 years lament­ing the height of my nose or the lack of. I have re­cently re­alised that a nose is a nose by any height it may pose. Sim­i­larly, I have stopped do­ing bat­tle with my frizzy hair. Won­der why it took me so long to re­alise that I need to pick my bat­tles. Life is too short to pay so much at­ten­tion to my but­ton nose and fly­away hair. And, by the way, it has taken me 60 years to look this good!

I will pur­sue hap­pi­ness with mis­sion­ary zeal and un­re­lent­ing courage. There is hap­pi­ness in the small events of ev­ery­day life such as a good night’s sleep; drink­ing tea from del­i­cate teacups; spon­ta­neous, splut­ter­ing laugh­ter and mean­ing­ful con­ver­sa­tions with friends. I am duty- bound to be happy.

Fi­nally, I shall have a grate­ful heart. Be­ing 60 is an achieve­ment by it­self. If I can sur­vive the af­ter­math of 50, I will be able to cel­e­brate the ad­vent of 60. I have legs that can spring out of bed, arms that can go round the MOTH’s belly and faith in Higher Hands that un­fail­ingly lead me along this jour­ney we call life.

Old is Gold is a plat­form for readers aged 55 and above to share their wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence and take on life. E- mail star2@ thes­tar. com. my. Pub­lished con­tri­bu­tions will be paid, so please in­clude your full name, IC num­ber, ad­dress and phone num­ber.

Ev­ery birth­day is a cause for cel­e­bra­tion. — Photo: AFP

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